With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt had back-to-back singles, which brought Stanek into the game. A wild pitch during Evan Longoria’s at-bat advanced them both before Longoria was walked to load the bases.
Loaded bases with fewer than two outs tends to cause the Giants offense to crawl back into its shell, so naturally Stephen Vogt had to strike out to give them that second out and the go ahead to try to score a run.
Which they did during Brandon Crawford’s at-bat when Stanek threw a pitch that bounced in the dirt and got away from catcher Jorge Alfaro. All three runners advanced, but it was really the heads-up base running by Yastrzemski that made the difference. The ball didn’t get that far away, so Yastrzemski’s gutsy and committed break and diving slide for the plate was a risky one. Alfaro threw to Stanek, who ultimately collided with Yastrzemski at the plate and collapsed on top of him, but was never able to actually catch the ball.
As an aside, it really feels like the universe is conspiring to keep Yastrzemski from playing in Boston, after the two painful incidents he’s had this weekend. But he is persevering thus far.
Crawford finished his at-bat with an intentional walk, after which Mike Gerber struck out to turn his hat trick into a golden sombrero. Bryan noted this afterwards:
Dick Dietz struck out 9 times in his first 24 plate appearances of his career. Mike Gerber has struck out 13 times in his first 22 PA as a Giant. So, that would seem to be a Giants record.— McCovey Chronicles (@McCoveyChron) September 15, 2019
That doesn’t seem ideal.
Anyway, the first run of the game came from Mauricio Dubon, who blasted a solo shot to the left field ambulance well (aka the Madison Bumgarner special) to break up a scoreless game in the bottom of the third.
There was a point in the sixth where Brandon Belt seemed determined to add on, scratching and clawing his way around the base path like a man on a mission. He reached base on a bunt against the shift, which reportedly received the largest cheers of the day thus far. A passed ball advanced him to second, where he was almost out TWICE. The first after a ground ball got between him and the bag, but he played it smart and ran directly back to the base and the throw went to get Longoria instead. Then Alfaro tried to throw him out to make up for his mistake but got a throwing error instead. Belt would have been out, but the ball got past Isan Diaz and Belt made it to third instead. He would not score, but he sure did everything in his power to try.
Johnny Cueto had another strong start, though not quite as sharp as his first on Tuesday. Cueto pitched five innings, allowing three hits, two walks and striking out two. He probably could have gone longer but he barely made it out of the fourth inning (before having a six-pitch fifth inning, naturally).
I got quite confused when Will Smith entered in the sixth inning. As confused as you probably are right now while reading this. Apparently there is another pitcher on the team with the last name of Smith, who knew? (Aside from everyone else) It was Burch Smith, who got the blown save, giving up the one run the Marlins would score today. But it really wasn’t his fault.
With two outs in his second inning of work, he gave up a single to Magneuris Sierra (one of the best names in the game) which was stretched into a TRIPLE due to a throwing error by Longoria, whose throw to first left Belt unable to make the catch. A single from Jon Berti was all the Marlins then needed to get Sierra in and tie the game.
The original Smith (Will) entered in the ninth for the first time since September 6th. He was a bit shaky, issuing a walk to Alfaro (whose fingerprints are all over this game, despite technically going 0-for-2) and advancing him to second on a wild pitch, but he got through it for the save and sent the Giants to Boston happily after a winning weekend.